Sir Roger Scruton

About Sir Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020) was one of the world’s leading conservative thinkers. In his nearly fifty books, he explored the philosophical depths of human nature, politics, and culture. He was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Future Symphony Institute. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the British Academy. In 2016 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sir Roger for his services to “philosophy, teaching, and public education.” Sir Roger's books include Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (2018), Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet (2012), Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism (2007) and Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged (2007).

The Plague of Multiculturalism: Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture”

By |2020-10-23T10:03:08-05:00October 18th, 2020|Categories: Culture, England, Featured, Roger Scruton, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

There is so much pertinent history and so much wisdom in Russell Kirk’s “America’s British Culture” that his book would serve as a useful summary of America and its culture for the busy student—even for one who is hard pressed by the demands of a multicultural curriculum. America’s British Culture, by Russell Kirk (New [...]

The Virtue of Irrelevance

By |2020-10-06T11:53:12-05:00October 7th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

If we know what music is, we have a duty to help young people to understand it, regardless of its “relevance.” We should do this as it has always been done, through encouraging our students to make music together. How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings [...]

Will Classical Music Resist the Assaults of the Avant-Garde?

By |2020-09-22T11:31:06-05:00September 22nd, 2020|Categories: Culture, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Tradition, Western Civilization|

The problem for modern music arose from the way in which ideas came to displace feelings as the source of musical creation. Conscious repetition of learned effects does not amount to real musical content. Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 2016) Robert [...]

The Problem With Architectural “Genius”

By |2020-09-10T13:34:31-05:00September 18th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Culture, Modernity, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else. Cooper Union New Academic Building For the truly great projects, architects are [...]

Who Was Pierre Boulez?

By |2020-09-23T23:54:36-05:00September 9th, 2020|Categories: Europe, Featured, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

We must surely understand composer-conductor Pierre Boulez as the instigator of a false conception of music—not only of the place of music in high culture, and in the civilisation that is our greatest spiritual possession, but of the nature of music itself. DE MORTUIS NIL NISI BONUM: Of the dead, nothing unless good. But [...]

Redeeming Film Music From the Avant-Garde

By |2020-08-25T16:07:20-05:00August 25th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Film, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Perhaps we should be grateful to John Williams and Howard Shore for showing us that we can still use the tonal language to create music that resonates in the hearts of ordinary people. Perhaps we should be suspicious of those musical censors who leap to dismiss whatever is spontaneously likeable as cliché, and whatever [...]

Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilization

By |2020-09-23T23:53:33-05:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Christianity, Conservatism, Liberty, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

The late, great conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, delivers the keynote address at the Institute of Public Affairs' 2014 Foundations of Western Civilization Symposium. He discusses the topics of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the pursuit of truth. —Editor This essay was first published here in August 2014. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of [...]

The Journey Home: Wilhelm Röpke & the Humane Economy

By |2020-10-09T14:19:30-05:00March 29th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Political Economy, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Uncategorized, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke asked how to address the problems of social fragmentation and the loss of community feeling, in a world where the market is left to itself. Röpke’s own idea was that society is nurtured and perpetuated at the local level, through motives that are quite distinct from the pursuit of rational self interest. [...]

T.S. Eliot as Conservative Mentor

By |2020-07-23T17:50:03-05:00March 15th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Roger Scruton, T.S. Eliot, Timeless Essays|

Should modern man devote himself like Sartre to undermining bourgeois society and scoffing at manners and morals? Should he play the part of Socrates, questioning everything and affirming nothing? To answer yes to any of those questions is to grant nothing to human life beyond the mockery of it. T.S. Eliot’s solution was to embrace [...]

In Defense of Elitism

By |2020-09-24T00:28:29-05:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Humanities, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

People don’t like hierarchies and privileges, and there is a natural disposition to say that they’re not deserved. When anybody claims some kind of hierarchical position, the question is raised, “Who is he? Who does he think he is? And by what right does he claim this superiority over me?” There is a very [...]

The Threat of Free Speech in the University

By |2020-03-04T16:33:59-06:00February 26th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Free Speech, Modernity, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Now I, too, would like the university to be a safe space, but a safe space for rational argument about the pressing issues of our time. If a university stands for anything, surely it stands for that idea of truth, as a guiding light in our darkness and the source of real knowledge. Today’s [...]

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